Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
This week we add the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to the list of transportation entities that are facing financial trouble. The commission’s executive team is proposing to raise tolls by 25 percent for E-ZPass drivers and by 200 percent for cash customers.
The culprit, of course, is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven revenue down for PennDOT, the PA Turnpike and now the DRJTBC, whose 2020 revenue declined by $14.5 million.
Many people are predicting that traffic volume and public transportation ridership will never return to peak levels, even as the pandemic subsides. And even if they ever do, it is likely to be a long, slow process.
The DRJTBC operates eight toll bridges and 12 non-tolled bridges that carry lower volumes of traffic.
E-ZPass users would see the current toll price increased by 25 cents to $1.25 this year, and further hiked to $1.50 in 2024. Cash customers would begin to pay $3 this year.
The toll increases must first be approved by the 10-member board of commissioners.
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- DRJTBC plans to raise tolls to make up coronavirus-induced revenue shortfall.
- PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian testified for three hours in a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing this week.
- Pennsylvania ranks 17th in the country in switching to electric vehicles, according to a report.
- Seven of the country’s 100 worst bottlenecks are in Pennsylvania, according to a yearly research account.
- Capital Area Transit and rabbittransit plan to merge to become the Susquehanna Regional Transportation Authority.
- SEPTA’s 15.5 megawatt solar farm has come online and will add to the Commonwealth’s carbon reduction efforts.